The paper analyzes the link between the centralized public procurement of goods and services by municipalities and the context in which these administrations operate. While taking into account a number of factors that can lead to a greater or lesser use of the Italian central purchasing body (Consip), the study focuses on the link between that choice and the local crime rate. The empirical analysis shows that, in low-crime areas only, an increase in crime is positively correlated with the frequency whereby municipalities choose suppliers selected by a third party in order to attempt to limit the risk of inefficiency (passive waste). The relationship reverses in high-crime areas, reflecting a growing inclination to maintain autonomous control over purchasing, potentially related to the possible extraction of rents (active waste).
Keywords: Crime, fraud and corruption, efficiency, public procurement, local public finance.
Jel Code: D73, E24, H57, H72, H83.